Rutherford Medal for physicist

Professor Peter Butler, from the Department of Physics in the School of Physical Sciences, has been awarded the Rutherford Medal and Prize for 2012 from the Institute of Physics (IoP).

Professor Butler received the accolade for his outstanding work in the field of experimental nuclear physics and his dynamic contributions to the future direction of the field.

The Council of The Physical Society instituted the Rutherford Memorial Lecture in 1939, in memory of Ernest Rutherford, 1st Baron Rutherford of Nelson. Lord Rutherford was the father of nuclear physics, discovering the concept of radioactive half-life, and proved that radioactivity involved the transmutation of one chemical element to another. In 1908 he received the Nobel Prize for chemistry for this work.

Owing to the outbreak of war, the first Rutherford Memorial lecture was not given until 1942, and in 1965 the Council decided that, in view of the changed conditions since the lecture was established, this should become a medal and prize. The first award was made in 1966 and is made biennially in even dated years.

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